View Full Version : Annan Says Coalition May Be Violating The Law

03-07-2006, 10:37 PM
Annan Says Coalition May Be Violating Law


Wednesday March 8, 2006 1:16 AM
Associated Press Writer

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - U.S.-led coalition forces and Iraq's authorities may be violating international law by arbitrarily detaining thousands of people, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a report published Tuesday.

The report, which studied the situation in Iraq over the last three months, said Iraq's prison system remains a major concern and lamented that an investigation into allegations of torture in Iraqi Interior Ministry jails had not yet been made public as promised.

Annan's criticism of Multinational Forces and the Iraqi authorities in responding to violence was among the strongest he has made, although many of his claims were not new. He said the detainment of thousands of Iraqis ``constitutes de facto arbitrary detention.''

``The extent of such practices is not consistent with provisions of international law governing internment on imperative reasons of security,'' the report said.

While Annan praised Iraq's December elections, he also noted a rise in sectarian strife and said attacks against places of worship were higher than ever. Baghdad's Forensic Institute alone received 787 bodies, 479 of which had gunshot wounds, since early December.

``Repeated bombings against civilians, mosques and more recently against churches are creating fear, animosity and feelings of revenge,'' Annan wrote.

Annan also demanded that Iraqi and coalition forces release the results of an investigation into allegations of torture at an Interior Ministry detention center in Baghdad's Jadiriyah district. He said the results were supposed to have been published at the end of November.

The results of a separate inquiry into detention conditions in Iraq have also not been published, he said.

The U.S. Mission to the United Nations refused comment on the report.

But a human rights report by the State Department, planned for release Wednesday, was expected to address some of those claims, including allegations of abuses by Iraqi authorities in their prisons.

Among other human rights concerns, the United Nations is also investigating allegations against coalition forces and Iraqi authorities of ``restrictions of freedom of movement, excessive use of force, mistreatment and theft during raids of private homes, evictions and demolitions of houses.''

Annan repeated his strong concern about a Feb. 22 bombing that destroyed the golden dome atop a Shiite shrine in the mainly Sunni city of Samarra. The attack set off two weeks of sectarian revenge attacks, mainly targeting Sunni mosques, clerics and neighborhoods.